Assistant Professor, Biology
Katherine Crocker (they/them preferred, she/her accepted; Kaw Nation of Oklahoma) is interested in whether and how the environment experienced by an animal can impact the phenotypes of that animal’s descendants across multiple generations. They have investigated this general question using cricket egg hormones (Acheta domesticus, Gryllus pennsylvanicus, and G. veletis) and human DNA methylation data. Specific questions they have considered so far include (in crickets) whether diet quality affects multiple generations of descendants (yes!), whether social environment affects hormone provisioning behaviors (also yes!), whether microhabitat impacts hormone provisioning behavior in wild crickets (unclear so far), and (in humans) whether coarse, easy-to-acquire data (such as BMI and waist circumference) are biologically synonymous for the purposes of assessing health (no!). They are also interested in the evolutionary history of steroid hormones (structure and function across the tree of life), and in critical Indigenous philosophies of science.